FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon – November 10, 2023 – LoveLOParks Steering Committee and Lake Forest Neighborhood Association (Lake Forest NA) issue a joint statement strongly condemning the City of Lake Oswego for tentatively approving a local private developer’s application, LU 23-0002, that would severely impair the natural area of Waluga Park – West and directly violate the voter-approved City Charter amendment Chapter X – Park Development Limitation.
LU 23-0002 seeks to establish 5 residential lots, connect to City sewer services, and remove 43 trees in the Lake Forest neighborhood. The City has directed the developer to connect to sewer services within the natural area of Waluga Park – West, a 22.8 acre City Charter protected Nature Preserve. The natural area of Waluga Park – West would be severely impaired with significant damage to flora and fauna with the removal of 14 significant trees to construct a 17′ wide by 525′ long road to facilitate the trenching and installation of the sewer line.
The Lake Forest (NA) has opposed LU 23-0002 citing the applicable City Charter and City Code. Their first opposing position succinctly invokes Chapter X’s development limitations, referencing the precise legal mandates imposed on the City. And, their second opposing position concisely enumerates that the City hasn’t considered all available alternatives.
The City has rejected Lake Forest NA’s opposing position, as well as ignored comments from concerned residents, and provided tentative approval for LU 23-0002. In their staff report (pages 10-13), the City falsely claims Chapter X doesn’t have jurisdiction over City Code. Additionally, the City has the audacity to suggest Lake Oswego residents engage them in a costly court challenge to compel them to comply with the voters intent for Chapter X.
“When the Lake Forest NA shared the staff report findings with us, we were appalled at the City’s complete unapologetic disregard to their mandate to protect these Nature Preserves, to be held accountable to Lake Oswego’s residents, and to obey the law. Voters ratified Measure 3-568 intentionally to prevent the City from all development inconsistent with preserving these Nature Preserves as natural areas. Chapter X is legally binding in our City’s charter and the City must comply without hesitation. Lake Oswego voters should be outraged!
To be clear…we aren’t against the development of these properties, but we are against the destruction of a voter-protected Nature Preserve without their approval. This development will leave a scar across both a sensitive land and Waluga Park – West for decades. It is incumbent on the City to choose an alternative option that doesn’t impact the natural area of Waluga Park – West.” – LoveLOParks Steering Committee
LU 23-0002 should never have reached this stage in the City’s development process. The Mayor and City Council should have rejected Ordinance 2874, annexing the aforementioned properties, at the city council meeting on March 17, 2022, on the grounds the City directed sewer line through Waluga Park – West was not compliant with Chapter X, effective November 2, 2021. In fact, the Mayor, City Council, and the City Manager should have raised concerns on November 2, 2021, when Ordinance 2874 was first introduced since voters were casting their ballots for two park preservation measures that very day: citizen-initiated Measure 3-568 and the City’s own competing referendum. The Mayor and City Council’s failure to acknowledge Chapter X shows their apathy toward the will of Lake Oswego constituents and the city’s governing system — once again, demonstrating Lake Oswego voters were justified in ratifying Measure 3-568. It is now incumbent on the Development Review Commission to reject LU 23-0002 to comply with the City Charter, the City’s governing authority.
The Lake Forest NA Board is appealing the staff decision for LU 23-0002.
The City has expedited the public hearing with the Development Review Commission (DRC) in an attempt to minimize public involvement. The meeting is scheduled for:
All interested persons can provide written and/or oral testimony at this public hearing; oral testimony can be in person or online. It is strongly advised all testimony, written and oral, be submitted in written form before the Monday, November 20, 2023, 12:00pm deadline. Only persons submitting testimony have standing should the DRC decision be appealed to City Council.
The Lake Forest NA Board and LoveLOParks Steering Committee strongly urge all Lake Oswego residents to get involved and make your voices heard before its too late for Waluga Park – West.
Learn more, join us and get involved:
LoveLOParks.org is managed by Lake Oswego residents who architected and supported the voter-ratified Chapter X – Park Development Limitation in Lake Oswego’s City Charter. LoveLOParks remains as the steward providing oversight to hold the City accountable to Lake Oswego residents. Chapter X provides legal safeguards to insure all development in a Nature Preserve is consistent with the preservation of a Nature Preserve as a natural area.